The playoff action in Europe is so intense these days the we could write even a daily roundup with all the games and stories from the Old Continent. So here are the stories I want to share with you today.
Let’s start with Germany, the country where Dirk Nowitzki is active in the playoffs. The first round has already seen some huge surprises, with two of the top contenders, Artland Dragons and Euroleague team Brose Baskets losing 3-1 in the first round. The Dragons saw their home-court advantage slipping away in a crazy finish during the week, where Bonn’s Miah Davis scored the decisive basket at the buzzer. And Bonn finished the series with a big home win to advance to the semifinals.
More surprising may even be the 3-1 victory from EWE Baskets Oldenburg against Brose Baskets Bamberg. After two extremely close victories at home, Dirk Bauermann’s team destroyed the EWE Baskets in Bamberg but Oldenburg made the amazing happen in their arena and will now play ALBA Berlin in the semis.
In Spain, DKV Joventut faces another Catalonian brother after their win against Girona. But AXA FC Barcelona went for a first win in Badalona‘s homecourt. In a offensive game with a lot of spectacular plays, [tag]Alex Acker[/tag] and Jaka Lakovic went for 20 and 23 points, respectively, but combined for an incredible 2-of-12 shooting from behind the three point line. Rudy Fernandez scored 30 for Joventut while Jerome Moiso continues his great season with 20 points.
The second semifinal in Spain has TAU Ceramica and Unicaja Malaga facing off. And the first game of this series was good win for the Basques, led by Croatian guard Zoran Planinic. But the BallinEurope play of the day came from James Singleton, who produced a mashup of Michael Jordan’s hang-time and a perfect illustration of what Euroleague commentators call “up-and-in” probably.